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California's Water Crisis

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Arwon, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Or we could cut down on the people :mischief:
     
  2. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    It isn't hard to understand, it just has nothing to do with desalinization. You keep circling back to 'so desalinization is a bad idea' as if there is something unique about water from a desalinization plant, and there just isn't.

    Was making the California desert the source of a huge chunk of the nation's food supply a bad idea? Of course. But we already did that. This conversation can be about you glorying about how stupid the world has been compared to you, if you really insist, but I favor moving on to a more interesting subject.

    So, back at my assessment of the problem:

    Anyone got any ideas how to deal with that?
     
  3. Crackerbox

    Crackerbox King

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    No Tim. Irrigation using desalinated water would result in higher salinity if it were possible. It would be immensely impractical and cost-prohibitive. The only thing desalination could be used for in a practical way would be as a source of potable water. It's doubtful that it could be utilized for washing clothes or human beings.

    When there's a drought of this kind of magnitude, you look at ways to fulfill some aspects of the problem, so desalination could play a role, but it's no panacea.

    And short of a massive amount of slow rainfall to slowly fill up the aquifers, there is no solution. We can't make water.

    There are ways of extracting water from the air using cloud screens. It's been done by the US military even in arid regions. There are commercial products which can do it. The problem is the low amounts produced by such endeavors. It's robbing the moisture that occurs from the dew process and hence it's not overly helpful nor sustainable.

    There have been experiments on dew condensation from sea water. As far as I know, those scientific studies have largely been done in China. Cold water from the sea is inexpensively circulated through piping, and when the cold water hits the warm air, then condensation forms on it. That can be collected inexpensively and can be a significant amount of potable water. Again, that's robbing the normal humidity of the local air to get that water, so ultimately harmful to plant species.

    Editted out as posting practical information is irritating some.
     
  4. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    Yes, that 2-5% figure I quoted is California's economy, not the national economy. I'm not concerned about the national economy, if farming here becomes too unprofitable the big agribusiness will move elsewhere. More likely the agriculture here will simply change instead of leaving, becoming focused on growing crops that are more reasonable to the local environmental realities. People elsewhere in the country may have to just suck up having to use real milk instead of organic almond milk or whatever, I'm not concerned about preserving their delicate sensibilities if it continues to screw over my own state.

    Point and laugh at the transplants and make them feel bad until people don't want to move here anymore?
     
  5. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    What? Why wouldn't it be useful for washing? I guess we're about to find out. I don't know how the water system works where you are, but here where the desalination plant is being built the water the comes out of a house's faucet, shower head, and washing machine all come from the same pipe, so this desal water will be used for all 3 of those things.
     
  6. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    When I asked if anyone had any ideas, I really wasn't looking for a roll call from those who don't.

    I get it. The world was too stupid to listen to you and we put agriculture where it was not divinely intended to be and displaced god's grass.

    moving right along...

    Been tried. California has been mocked nationwide in every way possible for as long as I have been alive, yet we are approaching 20% of the nation's population. I can't see mocking them when they get here being effective given that they themselves were mocking Californians before they moved and became one.
     
  7. Crackerbox

    Crackerbox King

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    It's the cost to produce the amounts of desalinated water. It would be difficult to produce enough potable water alone, but to do that AND produce enough for washing would be prohibitive.

    Each person uses at a minium about a gallon of potable water per day for drinking. The average American wastes huge amounts of water, gallons and gallons. That doesn't account for the amount for a single shower or bath. Then on top of that cleaning the laundry.
    These require vast amounts of water. We only need about two quarts for cooking and drinking but there's spillage and evaporation.

    Sit down, and calculate how much water your family uses every day. Multiply that times the 39 million citizens of California. No desalination plant could ever make enough potable water alone, much less make enough for their showers and laundry.

    It's not that you can't use desalinated water for washing. It's if you did that, it would be but a tiny amount of what was needed. Drinking water is always the priority in a humanitarian crisis. People need to drink water every three days or die.

    Here, read this:
    http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/indoor.html
    Spoiler :
    The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. On average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors, with the bathroom being the largest consumer (a toilet alone can use 27 percent!).


    If you start doing basic research into the joules of energy to produce desalination water, and the limits of current technology, coupled with reasonable advancement, and then the real amounts of water in California aquifers or nearby ones to draw from, and it's really not practical for anything more than potable drinking water.
     
  8. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I ignored that because it is based on the same faulty idea that water from a desalinization plant is somehow unique that the 'salting the earth' tripe was based on. If irrigation salts the Earth, it salts it equally no matter the source of the water. The idea that it would somehow not be suited for washing is just more ridiculous nonsense piled on.
     
  9. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    I think Crackerbox is making a pretty valid point- desalinated water isn't a practical solution. Still, if we're looking for ideas that can work instead of those that won't, then how about this- when Californian agriculture collapses, we can import our food until a suitable new location becomes the food producing region of the United States. Unfortunately, I can't stifle the influx of people into California, nor do I have any ideas on what to do to prevent the collapse of Californian agriculture, but the easing the transition process once it happens seems fairly simple.
     
  10. Wolfbeckett

    Wolfbeckett Jerkin' and nonsense.

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    Well, luckily nobody is proposing that we get 100% of our water from desal. The other sources that we use will still exist, desal combined with agricultural reform can be used to fill in the gaps where that amount comes up short.
     
  11. Crackerbox

    Crackerbox King

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    Thanks. I'm mentioning realistic solutions, not pie-in-the-sky ones. Yes, we need to invest in desalination, particularly graphene as that seems to be the least expensive long term solution, but even then it will be extremely limited.

    Urbanization and farming land that was never intended for that use is fine until Nature doesn't cooperate with adequate rain. That's happened traditionally in California. It started to get bad in 2007 and got gradually worse in the last four years.

    At a certain point, it means displacement as it would be impossible to pipe in enough for potable water alone. You'd have a major health crisis. And agriculture? There no ways of producing enough fresh water for that with the very high demands for crops and livestock.

    A smart California gardener would attempt Hugelkulture.

    Hugelkulture utilized in an arid environment that massively cut down on irrigation.


    The main problem is, it takes time, about three years to fully develop. That's with decent soil moisture levels. When you bury wood, you've probably noticed something like a woodpile or wood chipper shavings, it leaches the nitrogen at first, draws it away, which is counter-productive in the short term. But even in the first year, you'd see major irrigation savings, and likely way increase yields. But then harvesting is a major farming issue with this technique, right?

    If it rained, then extensive swales and cisterns would be needed.

    Editted out the videos since it irritates some.
     
  12. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Well, the 'collapse of California agriculture' is actually a pretty dubious prospect. Agriculture has first cut of the available water, so for the drought to affect them the shortage of supply is going to have to exceed residential and industrial use, which isn't happening.

    If we present the problem as "California has no water" then desalinization becomes a clearly impractical solution. Desalinating the total amount of water used would require lining the coast with desalinization plants.

    But in reality California has a situation where demand exceeds supply by some amount that is actually a fairly small percentage of consumption. Making up the shortfall with desalinization is actually practical, though expensive. The problem is that making up the shortfall in current supply does not address the real problem, which is that nothing is limiting increases in demand. There are still developers turning square miles of desert into homes with lawns; dozens of square miles at a time.

    Do we commit to ever increasing use of desalinization to match that increasing demand? If so, how do we make sure that the costs of desalinization fall on the shoulders of those developers, who are profiting from the process of increasing the demand?
     
  13. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I'm asking as nicely as I know how here.

    If you must use them, please put videos in spoilers, as they adversely affect load times. While this is not the thread where this was asked in the OP and your clips were removed, it is a discourtesy in any thread. Threads where you actively post and include three or four videos per post become incredibly annoying to view.

    Thank you.
     
  14. Crackerbox

    Crackerbox King

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    No, I'll just stop bothering to post practical information, Tim. You complain no matter what I do, even when it's of genuine practical use.
     
  15. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Spoiler tags would have sufficed, but thanks.
     
  16. Crackerbox

    Crackerbox King

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    I'm waiting for even a single post from you that has practical examples, evidence, and explanation on the California drought. A single post that is more than just opinion.
     
  17. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Why would you be waiting for that?
     
  18. Crackerbox

    Crackerbox King

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    You asked for ideas. I provided proven practical ones. You as yet have produced no ideas with evidence, examples, or explanation.
     
  19. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    We suffered from an excess of water a few years ago, and so the sewage system does not work.
     
  20. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I asked for ideas about:

    This is your post in response:

    I see no idea here at all. Certainly nothing related to what was asked.

    Here I see nothing but the 'OMG teh drought is sooooooo bad we have never seen the like' nonsense that I see on a regular basis. As someone who has spent most of the last half century in California I blew it off.

    I see no idea here at all, just more falling skies nonsense. We actually can make fresh water, BTW.

    I see an idea here, though it is nothing related to what was asked. You also seem to have only brought it up to shoot it down.

    Again, an unrelated idea brought up apparently for the sole purpose of shooting it down.

    I am left thinking that you don't bother reading before responding, and believe that shooting ideas down provides such a great validation that you will bring them up yourself just for the opportunity.
     

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